Universal is releasing Larry Crowne - which was co-written, directed and stars Tom Hanks - on July 1. In the film he appears alongside Julia Roberts with a murderer’s row of support, including Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston, Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, Blaxploitation legend Pam Grier, and comedians Cedric the Entertainer and Rob Riggle. The film is about a middle aged man reinventing himself after he gets laid off, and – maybe, just maybe – finding love. At once it’s obvious that this is a movie starring two of the biggest A-listers on the planet, but it’s also strange to see a character-driven dramedy released in the action-packed summer months. Take a look at the trailer…
The main element that’s going to make or break this movie is tone. Larry Crowne comes across a little broad in the trailer, and the baggage put on the main character – like the moped – could turn the audience against the loveable loser. Films like these are always balancing acts. The other problem the film might face is that for many getting laid off or being worried about being laid off is too real for the start of a romantic comedy.
Hanks wrote the script with My Big Fat Greek Wedding‘s Nia Vardalos. Post-Wedding, Vardalos has struggled to recapture the success of that runaway hit. Perhaps working with Hanks will put her back into the mainstream. Vardalos also appears in the film.
Larry Crowne stars two adults looking to figure out their lives, and that seems refreshing with so much of cinema geared toward a much younger audience. At the same time it also makes the film seem like a risk, or something from another era. The last time Hanks and Roberts paired up, they made Charlie Wilson’s War, which was both an awards and box office disappointment. That though was political, this is not.
Are Hanks and Roberts the new Tracy and Hepburn?